Move aside high blood pressure and cholesterol. These new-age lifestyle disorders, warn doctors, are spreading pretty fast. Have you fallen prey to them already? Find out.
Lifestyle diseases are on an all-time high, especially when it comes to those in the corporate rat race. A techno-laid lifestyle in addition to occupational habits can push an individual’s health to the brink. While obesity and stress are the most common lifestyle disorders that already exist, there is a new crop of disorders that are becoming prevalent in today’s society. Here are our Top 5 picks.
Sleep syncope: Commonly referred to as black-outs, the number of people who have been complaining of a complete loss of consciousness has increased tremendously over the last couple of years. Doctors cite weather as one of the reasons that could trigger it in some people, while for a huge part of the population; it could be daily stress and workload that could prompt an incident. Dr. Gurpreet Singh Dang, General Physician at Columbia Asia Hospital, Patiala, said, “Black-outs are a result of stress for most of my patients, but a few of them might have such a condition because of a prior medical history pertaining to neurology or cardiology related cases.” He added, “A large part of black-out cases also occur due to harsh weather conditions that might lead to a dizzy and disoriented state.”
PREVENT IT: Increasing dietary salt and fluid intake can help you from sudden black-outs, specially during the humid season.
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome: It’s a condition in which the median nerve from the forearm into the palm of the hand is pressed or squeezed at the wrist. This is a common occurrence among IT professionals and sedentary workers who are working on laptops for long durations. Amol Naikawadi, Preventive Healthcare Expert from Indus Health Plus (a health check-up service), threw some light on the symptoms: “Weakness in the hands, tingling sensation in the palms and fingers, and numbness, are some of the most common symptoms of this disorder.”
PREVENT IT: Ensure you move your hands and wrists, take breaks between work, and do regular stretching exercises.
Hearing problems: Those fancy earphones that most people are seen wearing for large parts of the days, could pose a big risk for hearing. Dr. Agneesh Patial, Consultant ENT and Head Neck Surgeon at Nanavati Super Speciality Hospital, Mumbai, told us that the noise level produced by the earphones, especially the ones that go inside the ear canal can be dangerous. He said, “Wearing earphones and listening to loud music is almost the same as that of a pneumatic drill or a jet taking off, which is dangerous in the long run.”
PREVENT IT: Limiting one’s usage of headphones is a must; also, not listening to music at high decibels will help preserve your hearing in the long run.
Sciatica: Another major problem for the human body is the pain or discomfort associated with the spine. It is often seen that the sciatic nerve which runs from the lower back down the back of the legs to the feet is a problem area for many working people, especially those in sedentary jobs. Commonly called the Disc Bulge or Slip Disc, it could happen due to long hours of sitting at work to jobs involving frequent or sudden bending and twisting. Dr. Garima Anandani, Chief Spine Specialist at Qi Spine Clinic, New Delhi, listed the symptoms. “Constant pain on one side of the back, prickling down the leg, impulse pain while sneezing, coughing or sitting for long hours are signs to see a doctor.”
PREVENT IT: “To prevent a slip Disc, I recommend focusing on a correct posture while standing, sitting and walking apart from regular exercises to improve strength and flexibility,” says Dr. Anandani.
Computer Vision syndrome: Dr. Nikhil Sardar, Consultant Ophthalmologist for Nanavati Super Speciality Hospital, Mumbai, shared with us that dry eyes are caused by the reduced blink rate when watching a screen for a long time. Commonly known as ‘accommodative fatigue’, this eye disorder happens when people using desktop, laptops and smartphones strain their eyes for longer durations, which eventually leads to evaporation of tears and leaves one with dry eyes.
PREVENT IT: Dr. Sardar recommends using lubricating eye drops or artificial tear drops to reduce dry eyes.